A diverse group of colleges and universities, as well as professional organizations and their collegiate affiliates, were contacted to solicit candidates for this program. The National Society of Black Engineers, National Organization of Minority Architects, American Society of Landscape Architects, and Society of Hispanic Engineers all provided assistance in communicating the availability of these scholarships. Over 175 applications were received and evaluated by the firm’s selection committee, which consisted of design and engineering professionals from underrepresented populations.
Each scholarship recipient will receive a one-time award of $6,000 to offset their tuition costs. The EDI scholarship recipients will also be participating in a paid summer internship with one of SmithGroup’s U.S. offices. The 2021 scholarship recipients working out of SmithGroup's Michigan offices are:
- Miguel Jimenez is pursuing a dual degree in regional and city planning and architecture at Georgia Tech. He will be working with SmithGroup’s Ann Arbor office.
- Kelli Johnson is studying architectural engineering at Penn State. She will be working with the structural engineering group at SmithGroup’s Detroit office.
“The impact of the EDI scholarship program has grown over the years, which aligns with our purpose and commitment to disrupt injustice and inequity in the built environment,” said Rosa Sheng, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, the firm’s Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “We look forward to supporting these students by building work experience and providing financial support for their education to help them succeed in spite of these challenging times.”
The EDI Scholarship Program is part of a broader firm strategy focused on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Over the past year, the firm has strengthened its commitment to take action to promote justice and equity at SmithGroup and in the built environment.
“We continue to enhance our focus on building the future talent pipeline and finding more ways to support underrepresented populations in our professions,” said Troy Thompson, AIA, LEED AP, SmithGroup Managing Partner. “This scholarship program, along with our recently announced program to partner with historically Black colleges and universities, are just two of the ways we are working to make an impact.”
SmithGroup is one of the largest architecture, engineering, and planning firms in the U.S. With a staff of 1,200, the company specializes in the health care, higher education, science & technology, and workplace sectors. SmithGroup's integrated practice includes architecture, engineering (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing), landscape architecture, urban design, and environmental science.